On 23 October the European Parliament Plenary Session in Strasbourg voted on the file from Rapporteur Michel Dantin (EPP,FR) of the ‘Quality of Water intended for human consumption’ also known as the Drinking Water Directive (DWD). The report was adopted with 300 votes in favour and 98 votes against. The final report (English version) is available for download here. As voted by the European Parliament, the DWD should continue to guarantee safe drinking water for consumers by including:

  • Measures to cut pollutants and further increase tap water quality
  • Improving access to tap water in public places and restaurants
  • Clear definition of responsibilities on the risk-based approach
  • Improved definition of information available to the public

The European Parliament also shows its will to limit the maximum for certain pollutants such as lead, harmful bacteria and introduces new caps for certain endocrine disruptors.

CEEP members have worked intensively on the DWD, inviting Rapporteur Michel Dantin (EPP, FR) to a Task Force meeting in June 2018 and maintaining regular contacts and meetings with shadow rapporteurs of all major political groups (Ulrike Müller, ALDE; Rory Palmer, S&D; and Lynn Boylan, GUE). Amongst the positive outcomes of this EP report, CEEP particularly welcomes the further introduction of the risk-based approach (RBA), with a fair distribution of responsibilities between the different actors, and the strengthening of the link between the Drinking Water Directive and the Water Framework Directive.

The work of the European Parliament on this file being completed, it is now up to the Council to prepare and finalise its position before engaging in the trilogue negotiations between the co-legislators. Those negotiations will be another opportunity to further emphasise our call for a Drinking Water Directive focusing on the quality of drinking water, and consequently exclude from its scope the obligations of openly communicating information on the management/governance of water suppliers, the cost structure, investments and consumer complaints.  Additionally, CEEP welcomes the following positive outcomes on:

  • Materials and products in contact with drinking water;
  • Reintroduction of the Derogations;
  • Reintroduction of the Indicators parameters;
  • Remedial actions (deletion of automatism that every exceedance is a danger to public health).

The topic will be further discussed during the next meeting of the CEEP Water Task Force, on 20th November, and the next steps for our activities will be decided.

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